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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Social ScienceEconomics · 2 months ago

Why are there so few Marxian economists in the 21st century?

10 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Economics is about the efficient allocation of scarce resources, and an efficient system has already been found that has led to vast improvements in the quality of life over the centuries.  Marx advocated for a system that anyone who understands basic economics would know is simply unworkable.

    Marxism is an inherently inefficient system that has failed several dozen times in practice.  Marxism is allowing Congress, with a single digit approval rating, to decide how to spend your money.  It is allowing Congress to decide who gets bread and who gets horse hooves for dinner rather than allowing you to keep your money and choosing what you want to spend your money on.  

    Government is a necessary evil to deal with public goods and to prevent market failure.  It should not be in totalitarian control of your finances and the economy as in a Marxist system.  That is just tyranny with the pretense of being "for the workers."

  • 1 month ago

    Supposed statements of fact (such as: "there are few Marxian economists") without evidence or credible attribution - are a sure sign of either ignorance or dishonesty. 

  • 1 month ago

    The idea of Marxian economics is heterodox in the Western academy, but the field is widespread in current socialist countries and has a surprisingly strong history in the West that does not precluding continued interest.

    Disclaimer: I'm no expert but this was an interesting deep dive so I typed this up.

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    Certainly, the economics ministers in communist-dominant states like North Korea, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and China are Marxian, but I imagine that so too are those during the elected governments of SYRIZA in Greece, MAS in Bolivia, Patriotic Pole in Venezuela, or any left of social democratic government in the World.

    To offer more context:

    - In China, you can get a PhD in Marxism and any PhD in economics starts from a basis of Marxian notions of class struggle. Therefore, I think it'd be fair to say that someone like He Lifeng (Minister for Development and Reform, PRC, with degrees in economics) is a practitioner of Marxian economics (mixed market, so not fully socialist, but still).

    - In the West, there are Marxian/neo-Marxian economists like Richard Wolff, Samuel Bowles, John Bellamy Foster, John Roemer, David Harvey, the late Paul Sweezy and the late Paul Baran in the US and a few in England (per the Labour Party tradition, like Paul Cockshott, Ben Fine, and arguably the late Tony Benn). I'd also note Yanis Varoufakis in Greece (though not strictly a Marxian), the late Giovanni Arrighi, (political theorist) the late Ellen Meiksins Wood (for her work "Democracy against Capital"), and (still living, journalist) Seth Ackerman (considered here because of his few pieces on economics - https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/12/the-red-and-the...

    - (most direct answer to your question) Most of the following ^ are old, because under a near total capitalism, there's little to be gained from practicing Marxian economics. There may be some approximates to the Marxians in the school of post-Keynesians (like, arguably, Michał Kalecki), but this is by no means a complete description. Post collapse of the USSR, even talented, non-Marxian economists, like Thomas Piketty, are reticent to suggest socialist solutions, even when thoroughly disillusioned with the procedures of capitalism (note the conclusion of "Capital and Ideology" as noted on the wiki page, where he timidly advocates for a global "participatory" socialism to reign in the rapid increases in inequality). <- I'd also note the perspective offered by Zizek on this, as a utopian notion of economics. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1TtS7mcSXU)

    Though, my pragmatic answer would be, "if the schools here don't teach it, few here can practice it".

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Marxist or not, most economist are pretentious prigs who don’t know their A$$ from a hole in the ground.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Marxist - not Marxian.  Communism is a vile, ugly, evil sick joke that has caused death and suffering beyond comprehension.  Why would anyone other than a psychopath want to have anything to do with it. 

  • 2 months ago

    Because most economists are apologists for capitalism.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Because it's obviously a load of self-contradictions and absurdities, that has been refuted both in theory and practice, over and over and over.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Only in America, Richard Wolff.  But, he might not look around.  Even in Germany, Marxian economists are not allowed. There are no Marxian economists in China, the land of  the communist party. Million of people worldwide have died because of Marxism. Even Engel has no name with it.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Because so many of them have been accidentally abducted by Martian economists, who have a hard time telling the difference between an x and a t. 

  • 2 months ago

    I actually thought that there were quite a few of them.  

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